Is Homework Helpful or Harmful: The Perennial Debate

The great homework help, “is homework helpful or harmful” is something that has been going around for decades now. Different stakeholders, including parents, students and teachers have different views when the question ‘is homework helpful or harmful’ comes around. The advantages and disadvantages of homework are definitely relative. They primarily depend on the time the students need to put in and the level of difficulty. Also, whether or not teachers should permit parents help with homework. On the one hand, students feel that it is an unnecessary burden that eats up their time. On the other hand, teachers feel that homework is necessary to reinforce learning. Whether or not homework is helpful or harmful will thus, always have two sides to it.

Is homework helpful or harmful

Let us look at why homework is good and why homework is bad for you and how you can make doing homework a piece of cake-

Is Homework Helpful or Harmful: Why Homework is Good?

There are a variety of reasons why teachers and educators feel that homework is good for a student’s learning-

Learning reinforcement

This is especially true for younger students. Often students face ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ In the absence of homework, what they learn at school gets lost on the way home. Students, in such a situation, are unable to connect the dots in the next lesson. Homework, thus, acts as a tool to reinforce what is learnt at school.

Practice makes perfect

Since the learning speed and capacity of all students is different, why homework is good becomes apparent. Homework encourages the students to practice and re-practice what they learn at school. This way if they have the slightest confusion in any concept, they can rework it and then go back to their teacher with the problem they are facing. This practice helps students master the concepts taught at school and excel academically.

Time management

While lessons in school focus on conceptual clarity, homework aims to help students frame answers to questions in a given time frame. This helps students learn the art of time management. This comes in handy for students during exam time. As they have already spent time answering questions, they are able to finish their exams in the given time and more efficiently.

Art of priority setting

Student life is often a time of confusion and lack of priority setting. Overwhelmed with number of activities they need to take care, students are unable to decide the order of doing each one. Doing homework can help students prioritize better as they have to decide which homework to finish first. 

Is Homework Helpful or Harmful: Why Homework is Bad for You?

If you look at the above section, you may think homework wins the ‘is homework helpful or harmful’ debate. However, there is a flip side to this. This means that there are some disadvantages of homework too. Let us have a look at this flip side of is homework harmful or helpful-

Unnecessary stress

According to a survey by Stanford, 56% of students felt that homework was a means of primary stress for them. On the other hand, only 1% of students felt that homework did not cause stress to them. Homework causing stress has many reasons to it. Firstly, students feel the stress of finishing the homework on time. Secondly, they also feel stressed out contemplating the consequences of getting the answers wrong. 

Health problems

A direct consequence of stress due to homework comes in the form of health problems. Students who get more homework often suffer from health problems. Headaches, lack of sleep, exhaustion, stomachaches, etc. While these health problems may seem small in the beginning, they can lead to chronic illnesses in the longer run. 

Imbalance in life

Spending too much time on homework also prevents students from having an active social life and mingling with friends and peers. Always busy with homework, students are unable to socialize in a healthy manner which leads to difficulty in communication in the later stages of life. Additionally, due to homework, students are unable to take part in extra- curricular activities. This stands in the way of their holistic development. Since more career professions now look for all- rounded candidates, such students might get on the back burner. 

Is Homework Helpful or Harmful: The Balancing Act

It is definitely true that there are benefits of homework. These advantages make it desirable and do play a significant role in helping students raise their grades. However, as they say that too much of anything is bad, the same goes for homework too. It is important to note that students and teachers need to strike a balance between a variety of factors for maximum efficiency-

The correct amount

For homework to be genuinely helpful and not become a nightmare for students, it should be of the optimum amount. While there is no standard benchmark as to how much homework is less or more, there are certain parameters that top educators advice. For instance, for a primary school student, the optimum homework should not take more than 20-25 minutes. A middle school student, should spend about 45 mins. For a high school student, the amount will depend on the discipline the student opts for, but it should not take more than 1.5- 2 hours.

Consistency

While the amount is one determinant of is homework helpful or harmful, its consistency with classroom learning is also important. This simply means that students should be given homework on the lines of the syllabus done in the class. More often than not teachers complete one topic in class and give away the next one as homework. However, the right approach should be to give practice questions on the first topic itself. Homework on a completely new topic stresses students more than usual and makes them despise it.

How to do your Homework without Stress?

Thanks to the coming together of education and technology, students can have access to instant help when it comes to homework. There are a plethora of homework help edtech platforms that are making life easier for students. Such platforms like TutorBin are a repository of professional tutors who are available to help out students stuck with their homework. They offer a variety of benefits-

  • Reduce stress- As students can get some help and guidance from these homework help sites, it reduces their stress. This is especially true when students have very less time in hand and a lot to do. 
  • Better grades- A study by Stanford illustrates that 33% students are under the pressure of getting good grades which negatively impacts their physical and mental health. These platforms ensure that students receive 100% correct solution with the right methodology. Thus, students are able to achieve better grades and do not feel the burden of homework too much

Key Takeaways

To sum up the ‘is homework helpful or harmful’ there are a few points one needs to remember-

  • Homework has several advantages for students, in short capsules
  • Homework reinforces learning and helps the students learn the art of time management and better answer writing
  • However, too much homework is bad for a student’s physical and mental health
  • It acts as a constant stressor and can even lead to severe headaches, exhaustion and sleeplessness
  • It is important to balance the homework to reap the benefits out of it
  • Students should receive homework based on which grade they are in and what disciplines they opt for
  • Homework should be a practice of what has already been done in class, and not a new topic altogether
  • Students have the option of access online homework help platforms to seek assistance and reduce their stress and achieve better grades

If you are ever under the burden of homework, and are seeking a burden to bail you out, TutorBin is just a click away. Get homework help from subject matter experts and have the time to develop holistically.

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